“To me, the greatest satisfaction is in knowing that you, as a human being, made something better for another human being,” said Dr. Judy Kuipers, Ph.D., retired chancellor. “You feel it at your core. Not in… a self-serving way, but just a human satisfaction. Of course, to me, it’s surrounded by a great big ol’ frame of love.”

Kuipers said she has been a donor all of her life. Her mother taught her to give a portion of her income to something worthwhile, and she and her late husband continued that tradition by giving generously to the institutions they were part of at the time.

“Dr. Kuipers is a visionary pioneer who sees the power of arts and humanities at the core of a university education.  Her home field of Human Development and Early Education is imbued with artistic creativity and humanistic thinking.  She was our first Vice President for Academic Affairs, then continued to a prestigious chancellorship and a presidency.  We are ever grateful that such a venerable and accomplished professional is part of the Arts and Humanities Advisory Board,” said Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities.

Being a member of the Advisory Board for the College of Arts and Humanities, Kuipers says it is natural for her to give to the organization.

“I give to the College of Arts and Humanities at Fresno State because that’s where my involvement is,” said Kuipers.

She gives to the College of Arts and Humanities because she wants her donations to benefit students through scholarships, grants, and study abroad programs.

In the 1980s Judy Kuipers was the Vice President (Provost) of Academic Affairs at Fresno State. She admired the university for their focus on teaching and worked with the deans to further embed that ideal within the culture of the organization.

“I really, really enjoyed that position because this was a student-oriented university,” said Kuipers. “Faculty did research back then, but students and teaching, learning, came first.”

Now retired, Kuipers serves on the board of the College of Arts and Humanities. She feels that the two most important things for a university are to help students learn to make a living and to how to make a life.

“The part on how to make a life is where arts and humanities come in,” said Kuipers. “Because it’s the arts and humanities who make us most human.”

Kuipers interest in the arts began when she was a child. She and her sister would perform songs and dance for their parents in front of their fireplace.

“We sang and danced, and were encouraged to do so. So we always loved music,” said Kuipers.

She credits her fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Walker, with instilling a love for reading.

“I was a good reader, but I didn’t particularly enjoy it,” said Kuipers. “She was the one that was instrumental and I’ve been an avid reader ever since. And she also inspired me… to write poetry.”

Kuipers still enjoys writing poetry for herself and her family.


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